When you’re ready to start a family, you want it to happen right now. Unfortunately, sometimes getting pregnant takes more time than eager parents-to-be expect, and sometimes it takes a lot longer because there’s something getting in the way.
Dealing with infertility can make you feel like the very forces of nature are against you, but try not to get discouraged because it’s more common than you think. Here are some of the most common causes of infertility that women encounter. Remember, the more you know about the causes of infertility, the better you’ll be able to combat them.
1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Characterized by a complex hormone imbalance which affects a woman’s ability to ovulate, PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility. It often presents other symptoms like obesity and abnormal hair growth on the face and body. There is no known cure for PCOS, but managing its symptoms is often as simple as losing weight, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet. Hormone therapy and medication may also be helpful. Talk to your doctor for more information.
When tissue that normally grows in the uterus instead grows in other locations. The tissue itself and the scarring from surgical removal of it blocks eggs from traveling down the fallopian tube like they’re supposed to. Like PCOS, there’s no cure for Endometriosis, but its effects on fertility can be treated with hormone therapy, or laparoscopic surgery if hormone therapy isn’t effective. Fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization are also an option when Endometriosis makes it seem impossible to conceive naturally.
3. Uterine Fibroids.
These are benign polyps or tumors that cause infertility like Endometriosis, by blocking the fallopian tubes. Though the polyps are harmless and often don’t causes any symptoms, they can seriously lower a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Surgical removal of the polyps is an option, as is medication to temporarily shrink them and increase chances of successful ovulation.
4. Primary Ovarian Insufficiency.
When a woman’s ovaries stop working before she reaches the age of 40, she may have Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. The medical reason for it remains a topic of some speculation. The bad news is, there really is no treatment for the infertility it causes in women. In vitro fertilization may be an option, however.
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
An infection of the uterus which can cause swelling which — you guessed it — blocks the fallopian tubes and prevents ovulation from occurring. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can be chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections. The good news is, it can often be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
Dealing with infertility is a struggle that no mommy-to-be wants to deal with, but once you understand some of the causes of infertility, you’re better informed to try and correct what’s wrong. Knowledge is power, after all.